Everything Needs Power: An Overview of the Leading Technologies

Annie Paquette
October 14, 2019

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Over the last year, Server Technology has written about the leading technologies that are shaping our modern life.  In our most recent white paper titled "Updates on 5G Wireless" and in blog posts on the topic of the Internet of Things, Servertech shared its experiences from working with the companies who are leading the development of advanced technologies.  These technologies, with the addition of AI and Smart Cities, are converging to make modern life more data-intensive.  They all have another thing in common – they all need power.

This blog is the first in a three-part series about the technological meeting place that is our modern life, here and now in 2019. Before we spend time talking about what all of this has to do with a Servertech PDU, let’s meet the players.

IoT:  First, there is what’s known as the Internet of Things, or IoT. As noted, we are just beginning to understand how it will allow us to harness real-time data available through sensors and various collection devices. The explosion of data from IoT has resulted in a change in the way our data centers are structured, and how they support the network that collects and transmits information in now unprecedented volumes.  This brings us to the next player. 

5GYes, the network. Carriers have been making significant investments to bring 5G, or the 5th generation cellular network, to life. The 5G network standard promises faster speeds to support the flow of more data and lower latency to make applications quicker to respond.  The new network technology has another interesting component that will be less evident to the casual cell-phone user.  5G has the ability to connect to many more non-phone sensors and devices simultaneously.  That brings us to the third player.       

Smart Cities:  As mentioned in our white paper," Smart Cities Run on Smart Power",  the promise of the smart city is to provide real-time monitoring and control of the IT systems that govern the municipal infrastructure.  The result yields many benefits for the citizens and visitors of the smart city.  Among these are lower energy use, reduced pollution, improved public safety, and increased quality of life. Smart cities require vast arrays of widely distributed sensors and control devices to deliver on the promise.

The Edge: These three advancements – IoT, 5G, and Smart Cities – are data-centric and eventually connected to a data center. These data centers, however, are not the variety that makes the headlines. No multi-megawatt leviathans of the industry here.  Rather, they are less glamorous closets, pods, or containers that are situated close to the point on the network that the data itself is generated.  This proximity to the data has given rise to the term ‘edge computing.’. It is the way that data is processed before the workload eventually makes its way back to a core data center facility.

AI:  Once at the core facility, the data hits servers in a new way that uses technology and software to make sense of the array of information that is being processed. The promise of Artificial Intelligence, or machine learning, is the use of algorithms to predict trends, identify issues, and improve the work that data does for us.  AI is not only used to improve the digital experience, but it is also being used to improve the reliability and operability of data centers themselves through improved analytics. 

In the next blog in this series, Server Technology will take all of the players introduced here - IoT, 5G, Smart Cities, Edge Computing, and AI - and discuss how they are connected with one another and to Servertech PDUs.

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Everything Needs Power: The Connectivity of Technology and Intelligent PDUs